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Hindu Press International
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Bringing Hindu Dharma to Teachers in Houston
Posted on 2001/10/20 22:47:02 ( 623 reads )


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HOUSTON, TEXAS, October 21, 2001: Houston will be using the VHP-UK book "Explaining Hindu Dharma: A Guide to Teachers" for seminars starting Nov. 8, 2001, for teachers in the greater Houston area. The three-hour seminar will target mainly social studies which are World History and World Geography. Short lectures with PowerPoint presentations, along with PowerPoint presentations on CDROM will be available for the teachers to print out transparencies for use in class. Paperback copies of the text will be available to those attending at a reduced price. Teachers will be made aware of opportunities for guided tours of Sri Meenakshi Temple in Pearland. This is an effort of the local Hindu community under the banner of World Hindu Council, Houston Chapter, in the hope that it can become a model for similar seminars nationwide. For further information and/or for follow-up information after the first seminar contact Beth Kulkarni, President, World Hindu Council, Houston Chapter, at "source" above.




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No Loudspeakers After 10:00 PM for Mumbai Navaratri Dancing
Posted on 2001/10/19 22:49:02 ( 739 reads )


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MUMBAI, INDIA, October 19, 2001: Dance organizers have decided not to challenge the state government's orders prohibiting the use of loudspeakers after 10:00 pm. For the first time in 20 years, Mumbai's famous garba dance was not held on the first night of Navratri as a mark of protest. Traditionally, garba celebrations go on till well past midnight. However, this new rule has hit the organizers hard. There are 15 major dance mandals (locations) in the city and ticket sales alone amount to thousands in profits each year. With the festivities cut short, organizers say they will lose much money Jitendra Mehta, Chairman, Ghatkopar Gujarat Samaj revealed, "We sell most of the tickets three days before the festival starts. Because of this whole dispute over the new order, in the last three days, we have sold very few tickets." This decision has however come as a welcome respite for the residents who live near the mandals and have to bear the brunt of loudspeakers throughout the night. Visit www.dandiyazone.com/navaratri.html for a thorough introduction to Navaratri, Mumbai style.




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Police Charged in Museum Theft
Posted on 2001/10/19 22:48:02 ( 622 reads )


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HYDERABAD, INDIA, October 20, 2001: Two constables of Andhra Pradesh Special Police, posted on security duty at the NTR Museum, were arrested by the Hyderabad police on a charge of stealing six sandalwood idols from the museum. The police said the duo -- B Anjaneyulu and Govind Singh -- were among the platoon of the APSP tenth battalion deployed at the museum to look after its security following a direction from the Andhra Pradesh high court. The duo were on duty on October 16 when they stole the six sandalwood idols from the museum after gaining entry through a window. On a tip-off, the police intercepted a police van, in which the erring cops were carrying the stolen idols, at Pebbair in neighboring Mehbubnagar district. They had packed the idols in gunny bags and hid them under the seats and were proceeding to their houses located at Beechupalli village, when they were caught.




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India Pressured to Release Bt Cotton Seed
Posted on 2001/10/19 22:47:02 ( 600 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, October 19, 2001: The Environmental Ministry yesterday burned a crop of Bt cotton grown by a farmer who bought the seed from a company in Hyderabad. Bt Cotton is genetically manipulated cotton that produces a protein which is toxic to the bollworm, the cotton crop's primary pest. The toxin in Bt cotton exists in nature as Bacillus thuringgiensis (Bt). A gene from this bacteria is introduced into the cotton gene which then helps the plant to kill the pest when it feeds on it. This article complains at length about the government's failure to release the seed to the public, even though both Chinese and American farmers are allowed to use it, resulting in greater yields. The article, however, does not mention the recent findings in America that farmers must follow the Environmental Protection Agency's stringent guidelines for this cotton which require them to plant five acres of non-Bt cotton to 95 acres of Bt cotton. This program allows the bollworm to thrive in the non-Bt cotton without the impact of Bt. If this is not done, and the fields are planted entirely in Bt cotton, the bollworm will rapidly develop resistance to Bt, and the infestation levels rise. A study this year discovered that a substantial portion of American farmers are not obeying the guidelines. See the EPA website at: www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopest ... bt_cotton_refuge_2001.htm




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Hindu Chaplain Certified by US Professional Board
Posted on 2001/10/18 22:49:02 ( 915 reads )


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BUCKINGHAM, VIRGINIA, October 17, 2001: Integral Yoga International and Satchidananda Ashram announce that Swami Sarvaanandaji Saraswati, Ph.D., a senior disciple of H.H. Sri Swami Satchidanandaji Maharaj, has been approved as a Hindu Board Certified Chaplain. Mataji will be officially certified during the March, 2002, annual meeting of the Association of Professional Chaplains. The APC certifies chaplains who meet stringent standards in theological education and pastoral care (see "source" above for more information). Dr. Swami Sarvananda Ma has been a disciple of Sri Swami Satchidanandaji since 1975. She is a long-time resident of Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville. Dr. Sarvaanandaji received her training in chaplaincy through the Department of Chaplaincy Services and Pastoral Education at the University of Virginia Health System. She currently serves as an adjunct chaplain there. As a part of a team of ecumenical chaplains, Mataji helps to care for all patients, families and staff regarding all manner of concerns -- from providing comfort, to discussing a dire diagnosis from the view of spirituality. The chaplains are available to serve one and all. Dr. Swami Sarvaananda may be reached for additional information at swsarva@yogaville.org. Other Hindus in America wishing to avail themselves of this certification procedure can visit "source" above.




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Calls for Applications to Humanities Center Residential Research Institute.
Posted on 2001/10/18 22:48:02 ( 695 reads )


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HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE, October 19, 2001: A multidisciplinary forum will bring together selected Dartmouth faculty and scholars from other US and foreign institutions to pursue research related to the topic of "Conversion" at the Dartmouth Humanities Center Residential Research Institute. The Institute will be directed by Kevin Reinhart, Professor of Religion, and Dennis Washburn, Professor of Japanese. The aim of the Institute is to explore the concept of conversion as it operated during the 19th and 20th centuries in the Ottoman domain, India and Japan. External Fellows will receive a stipend of $5,000 and will be expected to contribute to an edited collection that will emerge from the work of the Institute. Deadline for applications is January 31, 2002. For further information and application information please e-mail "source" above.




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Organic Farming and Peaceful Culture
Posted on 2001/10/18 22:47:02 ( 624 reads )


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UNITY, MAINE, September 23, 2001: When Dr. Vandana Shiva attended the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and the Common Ground Country Fair in September, she brought with her a stirring message. Honored as an international leader in her promotion of organic farming, she flew from her home in Doon Valley, India, on a flight after the terrorist attacks. With courage and fortitude, she has advocated organic methods of farming as the core and essence of a peaceful society. When plants are able to grow by natural means in rich soil untouched by the violence of chemicals, the result is peaceful farmers and families. Dr. Vandana herself has seen the results of chemically ravaged land farmed by huge corporations in the Punjab. Local farmers, unable to make a living for their families, have lost their dignity and respect. After praising the MOFGA for their work in endorsing organic farming, Dr. Vandana drew parallels in this area with her own organic farm in the foothills of the Himalayas. For her complete speech at the event, click on "source" above.




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Khaleda Promises to Protect Bangladesh Durga Puja Festivities
Posted on 2001/10/17 22:49:02 ( 816 reads )


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DHAKA, PAKISTAN, October 17, 2001: Prime Minister Khaleda Zia of Bangladesh has said that personnel of the Bangladesh Rifles will be deployed if necessary to ensure that the Hindu community's biggest festival, Durga Puja, which begins next week, passes off peacefully. Khaleda's instruction came in the wake of the reported vandalism of Durga Puja venues and attacks on Hindus and their property across the country. The festival organizers had earlier resolved to celebrate Durga Puja in a subdued manner to protest against the atrocities on Hindus before and after the October 1 general election, which Khaleda's Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies won. Most Hindus traditionally support the BNP's rival, the Awami League.




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Dance Tribute to Tragedy Victims
Posted on 2001/10/17 22:48:02 ( 636 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, October 10, 2001: To pay homage to the heroes and the victims of the World Trade Center attack, Battery Dance Company dancer Tadej Brdnik performed a hauntingly beautiful dance piece for the passers-by at the busy Franklin Street Triangle subway stop. From 8:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., the tall, striking Slovenian with cropped blond hair and searching eyes danced barefoot in a white silk suit. Brdnik swayed gracefully through the chilly morning air to an original piece of Indian music composed by Samir Chatterjee. Jonathan Hollander, who started the Battery Dance Company, an international dance troupe representing nine different nationalities, in 1976, said the members of the company decided a week ago to "recognize what had happened and commemorate the situation by doing what we do." The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center forced Battery Dance Company to cancel several fundraising events scheduled for September. "The fragility of organizations like ours isn't in people's focus," Hollander said. "This tribute was a way to show ourselves that we will go on."




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7,000-Year-Old Temple in Malleswaram
Posted on 2001/10/17 22:47:02 ( 2245 reads )


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MALLESWARAM, INDIA, October 15, 2001: The ancient Nandeeshwara Temple at Malleswaram 17th cross was discovered only three years ago, but it has stood for 7,000 years. According to residents nearby, the temple was completely buried under a flat parcel of land. Three years ago when a politician tried to sell the plot, people requested that the land should first be dug through to see if they could find something. When they began digging up the land, they found the temple buried underneath, in perfect condition, preserved by the thick layers of soil. The temple was enclosed within a stone courtyard. At the far end of the courtyard, a black stone Nandi dispensed water from its mouth directly on to a Siva Lingam made out of the same black stone. Steps led to a small pool in the center of the courtyard where the water collected. The center of the pool had a 15-foot deep whirlpool. Everything remains the same today. Nobody knows where the water comes from and how it passes from the mouth of the Nandi to the Siva Lingam. Nobody knows how the whirlpool came into being. The source of water, the sculptor, even the time when it was built remains a mystery.




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VHP Enters Ayodhya Sanctum Sanctorum
Posted on 2001/10/17 22:46:02 ( 671 reads )


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LUCKNOW, INDIA, October 18, 2001: Around 200 Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists, led by president Ashok Singhal, entered illegally into the sanctum sanctorum of Ram Janambhoomi in Ayodhya on Wednesday. They worshiped the small Rama icon place there, distributed blessed food and hoisted a saffron flag while the security personnel watched. Police later downplayed the symbolic incident. No arrests were made as local officials could not determine if any law had been broken.




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Government: Bangladesh Hindu Attacks "Exaggerated"
Posted on 2001/10/16 22:49:02 ( 641 reads )


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DHAKA, BANGLADESH, October 15, 2001: The new Home Minister of Bangladesh, Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, has dismissed as "exaggerated" reports of attacks on religious minorities after the general election two weeks ago, saying he had personally visited some of the areas from where such reports had come, but found them baseless. Mr. Chowdhury called the news conference to explain the situation following a decision by the leaders of the Hindu community to cancel celebrations for a major festival to protest the attacks on them. However, the local Government Minister and Secretary General of the the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, admitted there was some truth in the reports, but claimed many of the reports were politically motivated and conspiratorial.




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Temples Relocated to Prevent Traffic Buildup
Posted on 2001/10/16 22:48:02 ( 584 reads )


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HYDERABAD, INDIA, October 7, 2001: In collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad, two temples' managing committees have agreed to relocate their place of worship. Seetharama Anjaneya Temple at Tolichoki and a temple on the banks of the Musi River have been moved. When places of worship start to interrupt the flow of traffic, which also meant exhaust fumes had become intense inside the temple, the MCH started its program for relocation. So far only the two temples mentioned have responded positively. However, there are at least one hundred more that impede traffic. Some of these shrines were deliberately started by anti-social elements in order to secure government land for a parking lot next to their business. Any new structures started haphazardly in the name of religion on government land for selfish goals are being demolished immediately by the MCH.




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Religious Ministers Aid Local Police
Posted on 2001/10/16 22:47:02 ( 616 reads )


Source: Religion News Service





USA, October 17, 2001: In October 1978, James Jones got a phone call informing him that his 22-year-old son had been killed in a car accident. "I knew at the time that a phone call was just not the way to deal with a death notification," said Jones, 65, now sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama. It wasn't until March 1995, after the county had had 12 automobile accidents and six suicides in one month, that Jones realized changes had to be made in their method of death notification. In June 1995 he started the Shelby County Law Enforcement Chaplain Program, according to the Birmingham, Ala., Post-Herald. This program has a trained chaplain accompanying a deputy to inform family members of a death, delivering the news promptly and with compassion. Mac Stinson, a retired United Methodist minister who oversees the program, said it has grown since 1995 to also include spiritual guidance for officers and their families. "If a minister has a heart for law enforcement, then he or she contacts us," said Stinson. "We do not recruit them." Such programs are open to members of all faiths, and Hindus trained in ministry and personal counseling can apply for them. To be a chaplain, ministers must go through training to become members of a group called the International Conference of Police Chaplains. Their duties include assisting deputies in handling calls involving highway fatalities, on-the-job deaths, natural disasters and school accidents. They also help personnel of fire and rescue -- they see a lot of deaths, and the chaplains help them "get back behind the wheel." Jones added, "I don't know how law enforcement can survive without a chaplain program."




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Call for Divali Articles
Posted on 2001/10/16 22:46:02 ( 829 reads )


Source: www.indiannewslink.co.nz





NEW ZEALAND, October 17, 2001: Indiana Publications Limited, publishers of the "Indian Newslink," seek articles on a contribution basis for their 32-page Divali supplement. The deadline is Monday 22nd October.




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